The neighborhood consisted of lots of Moroccans, plus a generous handful of Bucharians, and one Danish family who, for some reason, ended up there after making aliyah.
My husband attended the local mamlachti-dati (government religious) school along with the rest of the neighborhood. And he was one of the very good boys, in that he was shomer negiah and always wore his kippah & tzitzit, even when playing basketball, plus he always went happily to shul with his father for all the tefillot & voluntarily attended shiurim at night.
(There are more good things to say about my husband, but to head off any ayin hara, we'll stop here.)
Anyway, he'd gotten into Gemara in his teens. And though he always dreamed of joining the army, he decided to go to yeshivah instead. (For more on that story, please see God Helps: A True Story.)
I asked him how that was viewed in his neighborhood, seeing as everyone went to the army and while people had started off as religious, the secularization process went quickly and intensively.
"It was fine," said my husband. He explained that for all its social problems, it was still a traditional community. Therefore, even the more secular-seeming people still held Torah study in high esteem.
And even though the useless jobnik positions were less back then, people still didn't attack my husband about why their sons had to risk their lives while my husband sat in yeshivah.
They intuitively understood the value of Torah study.
That unforgiving outrage & seething resentment comes from somewhere else.
Since Shevet Levi in Tanach, the Jewish people have always had Jews who sat and learned continuously.
Mishnah Avot states that the world - not just the Jewish world, but the entire world - stands on 3 things:
- the Torah
- the avodah (tefillah & serving Hashem, service in the Beit Hamikdash)
- gemilut chessedim (acts of loving-kindness)
That's our base and for EVERYONE'S sake, it cannot be weakened.
(And if you examine these 3 pillars, you'll see they're all linked. In other words, you can't have one - or two - without the other.)
And many, if not most, Jews sense this.
So where is the venom coming from? Where is this seething rip-their-eyes-out resentment coming from?
It's being aggressively imposed upon the innocent Jewish people by media incitement and by those with political agendas.
Ani shalom v'ki adaber hema l'milchamah - I am peace; but when I speak, they are for war." (Tehillim 120:7)
Or, as Rashi interprets it:
"I am at peace with them, but when I speak peacefully with them, they come to wage war with me."